Egypt brokered truce between Israel and Hamas: Abbas

March 11th, 2008 - 1:05 am ICT by admin  

Amman, March 10 (DPA) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday said a truce “deal” had been reached “in principle” between Israel and Hamas through Egyptian mediation. “I believe an agreement has been reached in principle” that provided for the cessation of Israeli attacks and Hamas’ rockets, Abbas told reporters after talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

“Hamas will stop firing rockets on Israel and in return Israel will halt attacks on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” he said.

Abbas pointed out that the deal also provided for “easing the siege on the Gaza Strip and the reopening of crossing-points” to the Palestinian territory.

“Hamas has demanded that its leaders and those of Islamic Jihad be protected against Israeli attacks and I believe the Israelis have agreed,” he said.

The Palestinian leader predicted that the deal would be declared within “a few days”.

Responding to a question about the feasibility of resuming negotiations with Israel at a time when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the building of 750 new housing units in an East Jerusalem settlement, Abbas said: “We consider all settlements as illegal.

“We are going to tell the Israelis that all settlements they build today or tomorrow and all settlements they built after the 1967 war are illegal and we are going to deal with on this basis,” he added.

Abbas said King Abdullah had briefed him on the outcome of his recent “very successful” trip to the US and talks with President George W. Bush.

During his talks with Abbas, Abdullah “renewed Jordan’s rejection of Israel’s unilateral practices particularly the enlargement of settlements which impede peace efforts”, according to a royal court statement.

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